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The Spiritual Good Life from Hard Times

by David DeFord

Hard times can mold us into the individuals our Heavenly Father wants us to be. Like clay molded by the strong hands of a master sculptor, we can become beautiful works in the hands of God.

As we respond to life’s challenges we choose whether these difficulties will break us or strengthen us. Will we give in, or will we develop the attributes of godliness?

Humility and Meekness
Success and prosperity can lead us to pride—the kind of pride that is competitive in nature. With this destructive pride we may sabotage others and relish in their defeats.

But if we meet life’s challenges honestly we can turn our failures and disappointments into the positive attributes of humility and meekness. We stop blaming others, accept responsibility, and seek God’s help in overcoming our weaknesses.

The Savior taught,

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

Those who develop humility rejoice in others’ successes, not their failures. They “mourn with those who mourn.” Rather than sabotage to abase, they assist to lift. Forgiveness replaces revenge. They pray for others, even their enemies.

The Power of Prayer
Trials teach us that we do not have total control over many events in our lives. With humility we recognize our dependence on the providence of God.

We learn to thank Him for our successes and to seek His intervention in our behalf. As we receive answers to our sincere pleadings, our faith in God grows. And so does our humility.

The Value of Every Person
Anytime I attend a funeral I marvel at the uniqueness of every individual. I reflect on the life of the deceased and wonder how I could have helped them more in life’s journey. Then, my heart turns to those still living. I ponder how unique and special those around me are; and I wonder how I can better help them.

Isn’t that what Christ meant when he admonished Peter to “feed my lambs”?

Every person on earth is a child of God. Each has his Heavenly Father’s spiritual genes.

Lead Us to Repent
The fruits of new-found humility and dependence upon God lead to us to want to come closer to Him. In order to do so we must bridge the gap between us by repenting of our sins and accepting Christ’s redemption.

True repentance requires change. It means turning from our sins, changing our behavior, and becoming new creatures clean enough to bridge that gap. Thus, we move closer to Him and begin to feel His peace.

Joseph B. Wirthlin said,

Your Heavenly Father—who knows when even a sparrow falls—knows of your heartache and suffering. He loves you and wants the best for you. Never doubt this. While He allows all of us to make choices that may not always be for our own or even others’ well-being, and while He does not always intervene in the course of events, He has promised the faithful peace even in their trials and tribulations. (Ensign, May 2000, pg. 59)

I encourage you to turn your heart and will to God, who will mold you into a most beautiful creature. He is worthy of your trust.

Related Quotes

Each of us is the spiritual offspring of God. We came to this earth to prepare to return to his presence, there to share a fulness—that is, eternal life. Without adversity, we may tend to forget the divine purpose of mortality and live our lives focused on the transitory things of the world. (Ronald E. Poelman, Ensign, May 1989, pg. 23)

Those who yield to adversity become weaker. To the valiant it is a stepping-stone to increased power. (Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, November 1980, pg. 54)

Let us remember—trials are an evidence of a Father’s love. They are given as a blessing to his children. They are given as opportunities for growth. (H. Burke Peterson, Ensign, January 1974, pg. 18)

Related Offerings

I have recently entered into an agreement with the publisher HCI. This company publishes the best-selling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. I read Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul and found it very inspiring. You can go to their website by going to

Here are some of their excellent titles:
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul

Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul

Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul

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